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Board advances planning for Sound Transit 3 ballot measure

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Agency to kick off major public involvement effort in June; conceptual scenarios will provide initial look at potential options and trade-offs 

Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine today directed staff to advance the planning for a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure by developing a Draft Priority Project List for public input in June.
Next month, the Board will also review modelling results for eight different conceptual scenarios discussed at today's meeting that are intended to spur discussion about options and trade-offs.
"On June 4 Sound Transit will kick off a month-long process to hear from the public about what projects should be studied as candidates for a Sound Transit 3 ballot measure," Constantine said. "Meanwhile, we will continue working to secure the funding authority the Legislature must grant us to move forward with a public vote in November 2016."
The public input received in June and early July will support Board decisions on a final Priority Project List. This list of projects, once studies are complete, will serve as the roster of final candidate projects for the Board to draw from in shaping a draft ballot measure starting in the fall. For each project on the list, Sound Transit will generate estimates of projected ridership, conceptual costs, potential for transit-oriented development, potential for integrating rail and bus services, and other key attributes. 
The conceptual scenario modelling results that will be released next month will meet the statutory requirement that Sound Transit examine both smaller and larger capital investment options. For each of the eight options, which span multiple investment levels, the modelling results will look at factors including potential ridership levels, forecasted population and employment levels within a mile of potential stations; potential for integration between train and bus services; and other evaluation measures.
The scenarios are not draft system plans and do not encompass all of the projects that will be considered for a ballot measure. The Board will not choose between or modify the various scenarios; the scenarios look at hypothetical project combinations selected by staff and are for discussion purposes only. All of the projects in all eight scenarios are assumed to be among those proposed for study as part of the Draft Priority Project List released for public input in June.
Currently, the Sound Transit Board is seeking authority from the Washington State Legislature for regional voters to consider $15 billion in new revenues for regional mass transit extensions.  The full authority is essential for the Board to consider advancing a measure that responds to the strong public interest registered so far in extending light rail to Everett, Tacoma, downtown Redmond, Ballard and West Seattle while building bus rapid transit on I-405 and expanding express bus services.